More staff layoffs hit McCaffrey

McCaffrey and McCall here had another wave of layoffs last week–impacting between 20 and 30 staffers from different departments, representing about one-fifth of the New York staff, sources said.
Chief executive Mike Robertson confirmed the layoffs, but would not specify the number of people fired. He said M&M had not cut its staff to an appropriate level last year following the exit of the $100-million-plus Mercedes-Benz account. Robertson said the extra staffing was needed for the three car pitches following the loss–Jaguar, Olds and BMW.
Since the loss of Mercedes, as well as Bacardi Imports last year, there has been much speculation concerning the future of McCaffrey. Since Mercedes left, four of the original partners who bought the shop back from Saatchi & Saatchi Co. PLC in 1990 have left, the most recent being former chief executive Robert Cherins, who is now at at Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor. A fifth, vice chairman Bruce McCall, is rumored to be leaving as well.
Robertson, who joined the agency in January 1992, said, “The speculation (over the agency’s problems) is just that.”
“I think there is a perception in the agency business that McCaffrey and McCall is waiting around for a car account as some sort of validation, and nothing could be further from the truth,” said Robertson.
“There is no question that the agency is in transition after the loss of Mercedes,” said Roberston. “But we have talented people with experience in several categories such as telecommunications, packaged goods and travel/tourism.” He added, “We are financially on very solid ground, and we are going to win some new accounts this year.” The shop is contending for the $15-million Bahamas Tourism account.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)